San Diego Management & Monitoring Program


Threats and Stressors
Brachypodium Control - Phase I and II

September 1, 2013 - September 1, 2017 completed

Project description

This project used a science-based, experimental approach to develop treatment and restoration strategies for the emerging invasive grass, Brachypodium distachyon (Brachypodium), on conserved lands in southern San Diego County, CA. Phase I (2013-2015) included conceptual models to inform experimentally-based treatment and restoration strategies; experimental treatments (dethatching, herbicide, mechanical removal), monitoring, and seed collection, bulking, and outplanting. Treatments continued in Phase II (2016-2017), using the most effective management strategy (herbicide). See the Phase I and II reports for study results and Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Brachypodium control. Herbicide is the most effective treatment for controlling Brachypodium but timing of treatment is critical and multiple treatments may be required in a single year, depending on rainfall and temperature. Herbicide treatment of forbs becomes increasingly important as cover of Brachypodium and other nonnative grasses decrease. Dethatching improves treatment effectiveness and stimulates the soil seedbank (if present). The experimental design was coordinated with SDMMP and the City of San Diego, and results may contribute to a regional analysis of Brachypodium control across multiple sites, habitats, and microclimates.


Project protocol

Name: Modified Habitat Assessments (The Nature Conservancy/Conservation Biology Institute)

Description: The project used a habitat assessment protocol to delineate Brachypodium-infested habitat. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) developed the protocol; TNC and CBI modified the protocol for use in the South County grasslands project. The habitat assessment protocol collects qualitative information on biotic, abiotic, and management variables to determine both ecological suitability an management feasibility for restoration purposes.


Project location

County: San Diego

General: Central-central, South-central

MU: 3


Project spatial boundary

View spatial map of this project.

Project focus

Project type: General Management

Target species: Dehesa nolina, false brome, San Diego thorn-mint, Variegated dudleya

Target vegetation: coastal sage scrub, grassland


Implementing entities

Investigator: Patricia Gordon-Reedy

Main implementing entity: Conservation Biology Institute

SDMMP lead: Annabelle Bernabe

Study lead: Patricia Gordon-Reedy


Project funding agreements

Funding participants
Role Participants
funding source Environmental Mitigation Program

Strategic elements

Budget year: pre FY15-1 Work plan objectives number: 2.7


Files and documents